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NSF Press Statement - January 21, 2000
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Statement by Rita Colwell
Director, National Science Foundation
On The President's Proposed Increase for the 21st Century Research Fund
This is a 21st Century budget for 21st Century science and engineering. I'm thrilled about President Clinton's announced plan that includes the largest monetary increase in history for the National Science Foundation in his 2001 budget. The record dollar increase for NSF will give us the capacity to make strong across-the-board investments in science and engineering research and education.
Industry has made clear that NSF needs to strengthen its core investments that focus on the frontiers of science and technology. This budget meets that challenge.
The request devotes $320 million to increases in core disciplinary research that extends the frontiers of science and engineering across the board. These activities sustain the flow of new discoveries that fuel the development of new technologies.
A major initiative in nanoscale science and engineering will make possible materials and machines on the scale of human cells. This will bring unprecedented, revolutionary changes in almost all industries, including health care, environmental management and education. Nanoscale research isn't miniaturization -- a scale-down approach -- but a build-up of things "nature's way," atom by atom, molecule by molecule, to create the materials, structures and machines of the future.
This increase is a tremendous boost to our information technology research initiative. It will keep the U.S. at the leading edge of information systems. It will provide: far greater computing power; safer, more reliable software systems; and greater flexibility in data systems for all scientists, educators, and business systems to use and share.
This budget means we will continue and enhance our investment in biocomplexity, focusing on environmental research to better understand the dynamics of the world we live in.
Let's not forget a complexity of another kind -- the needs of the 21st Century workforce. Industry and society will demand new sets of skills and insights for the next generation of Americans that will require a solid grounding in mathematics, science and technology. This budget will help NSF meet those needs.